- Visit Greece (www.visitgreece.gr) Greece’s official tourism portal.
- Explore Crete (www.explorecrete.com) Good general travel site.
- Interkriti (www.interkriti.org) Comprehensive guide to the island.
- Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/crete) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.
- OpenSeas (www.openseas.gr) Ferry timetables.
- Crete Region (www.crete-region.gr) Official government site.
- If at all possible, visit in the shoulder seasons – late spring or early autumn. The weather is softer and the crowds are slim.
- Be sure to visit a few out-of-the-way villages where you can still find full-on, unselfconscious traditional culture. The best way to do this is to rent a car, buy a good map, and explore. Stop for lunch, check out the local shops and test out your Greek.
- Visit at least one local kafeneio (coffee house), one seafood taverna on the waterfront, and one traditional live-music venue. This is where you’ll experience Cretan culture at its most potent.
What to Take
- Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
- Money belt
- Credit and debit cards
- Driver’s licence/international driver’s licence
- Diving qualifications
- Phone for local SIM & charger
- Mainland European power adapter
- Seasickness remedies
- Mosquito repellent
- Lightweight raincoat
- Swimwear, snorkel and fins
- Clothes pegs and laundry line
- A hollow leg – for all that raki
What to Wear
Crete is casual. Locals wear simple but respectfully covered-up clothes. In summer, the heat will make you want to run naked; instead bring quick-drying tops and cool dresses. Bars or fashionable restaurants require more effort – the scene is stylish rather than dressy. Don’t wear swimsuits into shops and tavernas without a cover-up. Cretans take their churches seriously: don’t go inside wearing hats, tank tops, short shorts or miniskirts. Sturdy walking shoes are a must for treks. Cretans will not go nude on beaches; you’ll see some Europeans do it, but it pays to be respectful of locals and therefore discreet.
- Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after your arrival date.
- Make bookings for accommodation and travel.
- Check airline baggage restrictions, especially for regional flights.
- Inform your credit/debit card company of your travel plans.
- Organise travel insurance.
- Check if you’ll be able to use your mobile (cell) phone.